Radical media, politics and culture.


Anonymous Comrade writes


By Ian Tillium


In 1991 two American business professors, including one from the Harvard Business School, published a book called 2020 Vision: Transform Your Business Today to Succeed in Tomorrow's Economy. (Davis and Davidson 1991). Although riven through with a kind of Parsonian functionalism, it's nonetheless a very readable bourgeois account of the info revolution, and in addition it's a good source on where exactly this society thinks it's going and wants to go. In this article I want to use it as a peg on which to hang various thoughts on the question of present and future technological change.

hydrarchist writes:"Should have released this months ago but Blicero and I never managed to find the time to do the corrections. This interview was conducted in summer 2001 and subsequently published in issue 5 of Multitudes, and is available at Samizdat in french. Much has happened in the meantime and our intention is to do a second interview in the coming months.Please send any queries or connections to hydrarchist at yahoo.com, or append thems as a post to the article.

A Space of Construction and Deconstruction

Interview with blicero about the experience of the LOA
Hacklab in Milan

Q.What is a hacklab? And more specifically, what is the
LOA Hacklab in Milan?

A Hacklab is a place where we try to combine the hacker attitude,
that is to say the act of understanding the functioning of complex
machines in order to deconstruct them and reconstruct
them in a non conventional manner, with the ambition
of analysing the real. A place of relations where
people, brought by a marked interest in the new forms
of electronic communication, by the digital and the
telematic, can meet to construct a different way of
understanding things and intervene in the processes
that determine reality. A Hacklab is in some way a
meeting place for the various entities and
determinations of digital antagonism.

hydrarchist writes"This story was posted by a participant at www.zeropaid.com, the hub for file sharing news.

Overpeer Poisoning P2P on Behalf of Labels, RIAA

A stealth-mode company called OVERPEER has been flooding the p2p networks with fake Eminem files in an attempt to stop the trading of "unauthorized" mp3s. If you've encountered the "loop" files, in which a section of the chorus or hook is repeated over and over, you've been tricked by

OVERPEER are doing this with the full knowlege and consent of Interscope and Universal Music, in fact they are under contract to Universal and other
major record labels, and will be doing a LOT MORE of this type of "interdiction" in the near future.

Anonymous Comrade writes "

What's Gnu: RMS on UnitedLinux, Free Software

Richard M. Stallman is the founder of the Free Software movement that created the basis of the GNU/Linux operating system. Since founding the project back in 1984, Stallman, known by the community as RMS, has spent his time programming and promoting free software in the hopes of eliminating the need for non-free software completely. RMS graciously agreed to be interviewed by OfB's Timothy Butler. You can find the interview, in full, below. .

Open for Business: Would you give our readers a brief summary of what Free Software is and how it relates to Open Source Software?

Richard M. Stallman: Free software is the name of a category of software; it is also the name of a movement.

The "free" in "free software" refers to freedom, not price. A program is free software if users have certain basic freedoms in using it. You should have the freedom to run it as you wish, the freedom to study the source code and modify it to suit your needs, the freedom to redistribute copies to others, and the freedom to publish an improved version. The freedom to sell copies is also included. If the program allows users these freedoms, it is free software.

hydrarchist writes:"

The Regulation of Liberty: free speech, free trade and free gifts on the

Richard Barbrook

[Click here for the bibliography]

'What makes the constitution of a state really strong and durable is such a
close observance of [social] conventions that natural relations and laws come
to be in harmony on all points, so that the law... seems only to ensure, accompany
and correct what is natural.' - Jean-Jacques Rousseau. (1)

The State in Cyberspace

The rapid expansion of e-commerce depends upon effective legal regulation of
the Net. As in the rest of the economy, courts and police are needed to enforce
the 'rules of the game' within on-line marketplaces. Theft remains theft even
when committed with the latest technology. Since the Net encourages its own
forms of anti-social behaviour, governments also have to update their legislation
to counter the new threats from so-called 'cyber-terrorism'. (2)
Trespass laws must now protect computer systems as well as physical buildings.
Not surprisingly, media corporations expect that the courts and the police will
carry on protecting their intellectual property. Anyone who distributes unauthorised
copies of copyright material over the Net must be punished. Anyone who invents
software potentially useful for on-line piracy should be criminalised. Like
other companies, media corporations need a secure legal framework for conducting
e-commerce with their customers. As in the old Wild West, business will only
prosper once law and order is established on the new electronic frontier. (3)

This new common sense has displaced the fashionable anti-statism of a few
years ago. According to the Californian ideology, national governments are incapable
of controlling the global system of computer-mediated communications. Instead,
individuals and businesses will compete to provide goods and services within
unregulated on-line marketplaces. The advance to the hi-tech future is simultaneously
the return to the liberal past. (4) Above all, this nostalgic
'New Paradigm' supposedly not only delivers greater economic efficiency, but
also extends individual freedom. For instance, state regulation of broadcasting
will become obsolete once everyone can buy and sell programming over the Net.
Just like after the American revolution, public institutions will only be needed
to provide minimal 'rules of the game' for people to trade information with
each other. (5) In their constitution, the Founding Fathers
formally prohibited government censorship of the press: the First Amendment.
This 'negative' concept of media freedom emphasised the absence of legal sanctions
against publishing dissident opinions. Like their fellow entrepreneurs, writers
and publishers should be able to produce what their customers want to buy. Free
speech is free trade. (6)

Louis Lingg writes "law.com has posted an article reporting that after lobbying by the Business Software Alliance, clerics at Egypt's Al Azhar in Cairo have issued a fatwa against software piracy. The edict was pronounced by Sheikh Ibrahim Atta Allah, the highest religious authority in Sunni Islam.

Ironically, muftis at Al Azhar have also been urging a boycott of American goods and services."

hydrarchist writes: The following is an interview by Matt Fuller and Snafu with Franco Berardi, Bifo, that took place by email during May and June 2001 focussing around the themes of his new book describing the development of the 'Cognitariat'. The 'Factory of Unhappiness', (La fabbrica dell¹infelicità. New economy e movimento del cognitariato) was recently published by Derive Approdi.

MF: In your new book, 'The Factory of Unhappiness' you describe a class formation, the 'cognitariat' - a conflation of cognitive worker and proletarian, working in 'so-called jobs'. You've also previously used the idea of the 'Virtual Class'. What are the qualities of the conitariat and how might they be distinguished from this slightly higher strata depicted by Kroker and Weinstein in 'Data Trash'?

Bifo: I like to refer to the concept of virtual class, which is a class that does not actually exist. It is only the abstraction of the fractal ocean of productive micro-actions of the cognitive workers. It is a useful concept, but it does not comprehend the existence (social and bodily) of those people who perform virtual tasks. But the social existence of virtual workers is not virtual, the sensual body of the virtual worker is not virtual. So I prefer to speak about cognitive proletariat (cognitariat) in order to emphasize the material (I mean physical, psychological, neurological) disease of the workers involved in the net-economy.

hydrarchist writes

"You're making a movie and need still images. You're starting out as a photographer and want to spread the word. You're teaching a course and need materials. You've written an article and you want people to analyze it. You're building a website and need graphics. You're a digital artist who wants to collaborate with other artists. You're performing a concert and need a symphony. You've composed a symphony and want people to perform it. How will Creative Commons help you?

Cultivating a New Creative Commons: Creative Commons is a non-profit organization founded on the notion that some people would prefer to share their creative works (and the power to copy, modify, and distribute their works) instead of exercising all of the restrictions of copyright law.

Five Browserdays Later - An Interim Report

Interview with Mieke Gerritzen

By Geert Lovink

A lot has happened since the Amsterdam-based designer Mieke Gerritzen and I
came up with the idea to do a 'Browserday' in early 1998
(browserday). After the design competition took place three times in
Amsterdam (1998-2000), the event moved to New York (March 2001) and Berlin
(December 2001). On May 17 2002 Browserday will be back in Amsterdam. Four
years after we had the initial idea Mieke and I sat behind our laptops and
had an e-mail exchange to re-assess the concept.

Initially a team of people organized the Browserday, with Jeanine Huizinga,
David Garcia, Eric Kluitenberg, Michael van Eeden and Marleen Stikker
(amongst others) in the core team. The Browserdays 1998-2000 were a
collaboration between the Dutch organizations such as the Society for Old
and New Media (waag), De Balie (balie), Paradiso
(paradiso), with involvement of the Rietveld, HKU and Sandberg design
schools. In 2000 Mieke Gerritzen, the main force behind Browserday, took the
competition on board of her new company, nl-design, and pushed the
competition in an international direction.

Even though the event from the
start had the label 'international' it took some time to get design schools
outside of the Netherlands interested. The next step was to try and see if
the concept would also work outside of the safe and cozy environment of

Louis Lingg writes "cars.com has posted an article reporting on a panel discussion sponsored by the Midwest Automotive Media Association. Representatives of the
Chrysler Group, Ford, General Motors and American Honda 'agreed
that hybrid powertrains and hydrogen fuel cells are the future of
automotive propulsion.'

[Christine] Sloane [GM’s director of technology strategy
development] said, "The vision of a hydrogen economy and fuel cell
vehicles is absolutely a compelling vision, and it’s not a vision for
2050 or 2040 or 2020. It’s a vision we will drive and try to make
commercially significant by 2010.”"


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